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Hancock attends Paris summit in search for technology to improve NHS

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is attending a summit in Paris Photo: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is heading to Paris to meet world leaders to discuss ways to fast-track new healthcare technologies for use in the NHS.

He is due to attend the GovTech summit alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and other EU ministers on Monday.

The summit will look at how emerging technologies can be used to revolutionise healthcare.

He is due to sit on a panel at Paris City Hall titled “From Lab to Gov: Harnessing the power of innovation” to discuss the importance of embracing the latest advances in tech and artificial intelligence (AI) for health and social care.

Mr Hancock said: “I’ve said I’ll scour the world to find technology to improve the NHS.

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“So as we build the most dynamic HealthTech ecosystem on the planet, it’s vital we work closely with our friends and neighbours.

“Britain and France have a centuries long tradition of medical collaboration and now we want to turn that into a collaboration on cutting edge health technology.”

Among the other delegates are representatives from the UN and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as well as a number of academics and representatives from tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft and smaller tech start ups.

Also attending will be Cabinet Office minister for implementation Oliver Dowden to promote the UK’s life sciences, genomics and AI sectors and to identify opportunities for collaboration between countries.

Mr Dowden said: “Britain is a global leader in digital innovation, with some of the best technology companies in the world operating in this country.

“We are keen to build on that, learning from best practice, both in the UK and overseas, to ensure we deliver the best possible public services.”

He added: “By harnessing the power of technology we are delivering public services that are simpler and faster for users and significantly cheaper to run.”

The Cabinet Office is due to publish an innovation strategy in spring next year setting out how the Government can use emerging technologies to improve public services.

It will look at issues that prevent collaboration between the public and private sector in order to introduce emerging technologies to Government and identify areas where investment can increase the pace of innovation.